(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer)
Srinagar- The Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha on Saturday inaugurated the Sukhnag Sozni Embroidery SFURTI Heritage Cluster of J&K Khadi and Village Industries Board in Magam area of central Kashmir's Budgam district.
According to an official spokesperson, the LG said that that SFURTI Cluster will deliver a holistic approach towards development of Sozni craft from production to marketing stage while catering needs of at least 500 artisans.
“The Government has taken various steps to make handicraft sector more competitive, boost exports and give a fillip to village industries, a repository of creative tradition. We are determined to ensure capacity building, foster innovation, best in class infrastructure, easy access to credit and market,” Sinha said.
“We have implemented policies to ensure that the artisans get an opportunity to showcase their products at national and international expo and receives better price for their products,” he added.
According to the spokesperson, the LG observed that the 'Vocal for Local' initiative has exposed J&K's cultural and artistic heritage to the world.
“Handicraft sector faced many challenges due to Covid but it certainly has the potential to take UT's economic growth to a higher trajectory and to provide employment to a large pool of our youth,” the LG said.
Sinha, he said, emphasized that the creativity of all the craft-artists will be more productive in future with Government's focused investment in skill development, modern technology, innovative business practices which will directly contribute to the increased earnings of craftsmen.
Highlighting the role of artisans who represent the rich traditions, customs and cultures, the LG, as per the official spokesperson made a special mention of Bashir Ahmed Bhat, an award winning artisan from Beerwah, who had been doing notable Sozni embroidery work.
According to the spokesperson, the LG assured all possible support in the form of financial assistance, skill development, capacity building, etc. to the youth who are inclined to start any entrepreneurial activity related to the handicrafts sector.
Sinha, he said, also observed that the Industries Department has also started the Export Incentive Scheme in which an incentive of 10% is being given on the total volume of GI-certified products in order to promote the export of handicraft products.
“The Lt Governor also mentioned the QR code launched for the world famous carpets of Kashmir, besides several important steps taken for GI certification, testing, labeling and training to promote Kashmiri carpets. A project on innovative and economical packaging of handicraft products has also been completed in association with NIFT Srinagar to expand the reach of niche handicraft products,” he added.
The spokesperson further said that the LG asked the concerned departments to continuously review all the schemes launched for the benefit of weavers and handicrafts.
“The Khadi and Village Industries and Handicrafts Department to work together on innovative marketing strategy to ensure better prices for J&K crafts,” The LG said.
The LG, as per the spokesperson reiterated administration's resolve to provide facilities like better market linkages for handicraft products, maximum employment opportunities, door-step financial assistance, design support, skill development, capacity building of clusters without any hassle.
“The society should not get trapped into the nefarious conspiracy of the enemies and their handlers. All they intend is to push J&K back into the dark phase of violence,” the LG said.
On being apprised about the issue of promoting Homestays in Budgam, the LG as per the spokesperson said that issue would be taken up with the concerned quarters for appropriate action.
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